You are on page 1of 7

Investigation of Voltage Drop Indicator to Overcome the Current Failure of

the Switch

Perera DHM 1 (Surname, Initials)

Fernando CAN2
Disanayake KDDN3


Telecommunications is one of the most important and rapidly developing technologies, and it has seen so many
great inventions over the past fifty years. Perhaps one specific and highly visible example of the recent change in the
telecommunication has been the rapid growth in mobility, for both business and residential use, and its potential
extension from speech into mobile internet and related data application.
From its humble beginning with the telegraph, Telecommunication with the use of electricity has come a long
way. Physical distance is conquered instantly, and any telephone in the world can be reached through vast communication
networks that span oceans and continents. We use satellites in space, and sub-marine cables under the sea.
This report is the result of my Industrial Training, carried out at well known reputed organization from 04 th
August 2008 to 04th February 2009. These training activities were mostly carried out at a switching section.
During my training at switching section I was understand the most probably reason for the failure of an
exchange as power faults than the errors in transmission area and the outside plant. And I was able to design a simple
circuit using PIC18F452 IC to detect and indicate voltage drops immediately and send the messages to responsible person
via Ethernet. Ethernet is a protocol that is used to transmit data through a network.
This system was very helpful to this organization in minimizing their loss due to power faults and also to me to
improve my experience and knowledge in research.

KEYWORDS: Battery bank, Exchanges, Power failures, Rectifiers, Telecommunication

INTRODUCTION • As most of Exchanges were installed before

Normally the Exchanges are coming with alarm 10 – 15 years, now a day’s most of their
systems those are able to indicate power faults. When alarm systems are faulty. So repairing or
a fault occurs it will be displayed on the alarm panel replacing circuit parts that are responsible
which is situated at the Exchange. But there is a need for alarm systems are expensive.
of external indicator to indicate power failures.
Because • How ever there is no island wide monitoring
• If the alarms in Exchanges are working system for power faults. So it is very
properly they will indicate power failures. necessary to build a system to monitor the
Then there should be an employee all the power faults island wide from a one place.
time at the Exchange. It is not cost effective
way to occupy employees at night. So there Study / Research Objectives
should be a method to monitor the faults - To find the average loss per a day due to
which occurs any Exchange in a one place. power failures.
- Give a solution to minimize the loss due to
1 power failures, using PIC18F452 IC.
Undergraduate, Department of Electronics, Faculty
- This system will minimize the loss,
of Applied Sciences Wayamba University of Sri
Lanka, Kuliyapitiya • By monitoring the battery states via
Ethernet system
Professor, Department of Electronics, Faculty of • By sending messages to responsible
Applied Sciences Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, people via Ethernet immediately when a
Kuliyapitiya power failure occurs.
- This system also will be able to create an
Doctor, Department of Industrial Management, automatic database including the details of
Faculty of Applied Sciences Wayamba University of battery states.
Sri Lanka, Kuliyapitiya

Scope of the Study / Research The AC voltage is converted to DC voltage by
The Scope of the Research is to minimize Rectifiers and for the purpose of indicating voltage
the loss due to power failure by ‘taking necessary drop we should consider the voltage value given by
maintenances and actions to avoid failing of these rectifiers.
Exchanges by observing battery states’ and ‘Limiting - Rectifiers supply – 48 Volts DC at 28 Amps, and
the time of failure by informing to the responsible is controlled by built in microprocessor.
people immediately.
- The front panel of the rectifier displays output
- The rectifiers operate noiselessly as the conversion
A literature review was done to identify the main frequency is high.
problems those are affect on the Exchanges. For this - If a rectifier fails alarm from rectifiers are
research it is necessary to identify the equipments transmitted to the central unit.
which are supply power to the Exchange. - The number of rectifiers required by the Exchange
Power in an Exchange depends on the expected peak traffic load (maximum
The following details were collected by supply current 28Amps).
referring manuals of Ericsson AXE 10. Ex: An exchange with APZ212 and
All electronic equipments used in AXE 10 equipped for about 40,000 subscribers will be
required a stable power supply. AXE 10 switches are approximately 400 Amps.
designed to operate with -48 Volts DC supply.
Following equipments are used to provide -48 Volts Battery unit
power supply. - During a main power failure or a rectifier
- Rectifiers that are converting AC main failure the battery unit will take over the
power to – 48 Volts DC. power supply to the Exchange.
- Battery bank to provide backup power in the - The battery unit occupies three shelves at
event of main power failure. the bottom of the cabinet. The two lower
- Distribution units contain fuses or circuit shelves can each holds three sealed batteries,
breakers on each circuit feeding power to while the top one contains a microprocessor,
exchange. circuit breakers and a maximum of two
The two alternative power systems supplied by sealed batteries.
Ericsson are,
- The microprocessor controlled power supply Default power alarms in AXE 10
(BZA 204) All power system must be supervised by the
This system is capable of functioning alarm system in AXE 10. The alarm connections
independently by its own without any from power equipments are connected to an external
intervention from the userThe main components alarm device that is located in the IOG (Input Output
of this power system are, Group) cabinet. This device is then connected in
• Central unit software, so power lamp will light on AXE alarm
• High frequency Rectifiers, 28Amp panel, if a fault occurs.
• Battery units with shelves for battery
cell containers. PIC18F452 microcontroller
• Distribution units with automatic circuit The PIC18F452 is a microcontroller that uses
breakers. powerful 10 MIPS (100 nanosecond instruction
The Rectifiers are connected in parallel and execution) is easy-to-program (only 77 single word
maintain a constant DC voltage across the instructions) CMOS FLASH-based 8-bit
batteries while at the same time supplying microcontroller packs Microchip's powerful PIC
power to Exchange (full float system). architecture into an 40 pin package and is upwards
- The Central Power Plant (BZA112) compatible.
The central power plant must be located
in a separate room as it requires Led acid
batteries as backup power. So it is highly cost
than “microprocessor control power supply” And
also this uses high noise rectifiers.
Each power unit is supervised by its own
built-in-microprocessors, which is in continuous
communication with the central unit via a two
way loop bus.

Research Design
The main parts of organization are outside They maintain Log books in their every
plant, Transmission and Exchange. Outside plant is department and sections. They keep records on every
consists subscriber’s side. Normally the failure of important thing.
outside plant is effect on few customers or group of
customers. The fault of outside plant never affected They keep records about,
all the customers connected to the outside plant. - Any failure of their Telephone network
Transmission is receiving and transmitting paths and including switching, transmission and
technology between two or more Exchanges. out side plant.
Normally an Exchange is connected to more other - Any new installation in the Telephone
exchanges. Therefore there are more transmits paths network.
from an Exchange. So if a one transmit path is out of As my research is “Voltage Drop Indicator
services the Exchange can use other transmit path to to Overcome the Failure of the Switch”, I have to
send and receive data (can send and receive data collect the data to find out following details,
indirectly via another exchanges). The fault of a one - The dates and times when the failure of
transmission path is not affected every customers the Exchange occurs
connected to that MSU. Normally it is impossible to - The reason for the failure of Exchange
fall the every transmission paths. on above dates and times
But when we consider the Master - The premise that the failure occurs
Switching Unit (MSU), it is the Heart of the system ( either it is MSU or RSU, and the
.Every other part is controlled by the MSU. The place)
failures of the MSU affect every customer those are - The number of customers affected from
connected to MSU. The major reason for the faults of the failure of the Exchange.
the MSU is the power faults. So it is very necessary So it is possible to select “Secondary Data
to identify power failures immediately and takes an Collection Method” as the Data Collection Strategy
action before the Exchange fails. And also it is very than “Primary Data Collection Method”.
necessary to minimize the outage time, if the switch A table was designed to collect the data as
fails. shown in table 1.
The major problem is at most time it is not
recognized power problems, until the Exchange fall Data Analysis Strategy
down. So this research is to identify the loss and - Finding average call cost for Peak,
damage that makes due to power faults, and to Economy and Discount hours. (Time
introduce a new system to detect power faults and periods of organization)
voltage drops immediately through intranet. - Finding average loss on outage hours at
The data will be collected from Log books all fault with normal customer capacity.
and from computer databases. The mean loss per a - Finding average loss on outage hours at
day will be calculated, after analyzing the collected Power fault with normal customer
data. capacity.
- Compare and calculate the percentage
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS value for average loss on all faults with
Data Collection Strategy average loss on power faults.
In research, Secondary data is collecting - Find mean lost per a day due to power
data from common sources of secondary data such as faults.
censuses, large surveys, and organizational records.
Advantage to the secondary data collection method
is, it provides a larger database.

Table 1. Designed table to collect data

MSU Switch Fault Reported Cleared Outage Hours Number of

area Type ( SW/ TX/ Date Time Date Time Customers
Power) affected

Note: MSU = Master Switching Unit,

TX = Transmission and
SW = Switch


Details of Data Analysis - The average loss (mean value) due to all
Table 2. Tariffs faults is Rs. 15329.51 per a day.
Per minute - The average loss(mean value) due to power
Call category charge(Rs.) faults is Rs. 8423.65 per a day.
P Econo Discou - The loss due to the power faults is 55% of
eak my nt all faults. So power faults are playing a
major roll on losses.
A - A Local 2.80 1.40
A - A National 4.00 2.00 Limitations of this Research / Study
0.50  There are various types of Exchanges under
A-Other Fixed-Local 3.20 1.60 various manufactures.
0.50 Those types are,
A-Other Fix-Natio. 4.60 2.30 - Alcatel (1000E10 OCB 283, E10B
0.50 OCB 181)
A – Mobile 4.60 2.30 - AT&T (5ESS)
0.50 - Fujitsu (FETEX)
Internet dial-up 1.40 0.70 - NEC (NEAX 61E, Zigma)
- Nokia (DX)
- Ericsson (AXE)
Tariffs are shown in figure 2 and average
call cost for Peak, Economy and Discount hours was - Motorola (EMX 2500)
found. Purpose system was tested with an
Average call cost per peak = Rs. 3.43 Ericsson switch. The system was not tested for
Average call cost per Economy = Rs. 1.72 the other Exchanges.
Average call cost per discount = Rs.0.46  The purpose system was designed using
Average call cost at any time = Rs. 1.87 microcontroller PIC18F452. Some of
microcontrollers are sensitive for electric
Finding average loss on outage at all fault with sparks and magnetic fields. The system will
normal customer capacity be very reliable if it designed with a
The normal customer capacity is 10% of all Programmable Logic Device (PLD).
customers.  The Exchanges are going to be replacing
The calculation of average loss on outage hours due with NGNs (Next Generation Networks),
to all faults are as follows, which are based on Packet Switching with
- Loss due to outage = (Outage minutes * Affected Internet Protocol (IP). This system is not
customers * Average call cost) *10/100 being able to connect with these NGNs.
- Average loss per a day due to any fault = Loss /  The communication between the PIC18F452
Number of days and the monitoring computer is done via
Ethernet Protocol. It needs network
Finding average loss on outage hours at Power connection. If the network connection failed,
fault with normal customer capacity the communication between these two
The normal customer capacity is 10% of all equipments also failed.
The calculation of average loss on outage hours due Problems Encountered and Alternative Actions
to power faults are as follows, have been taken
- Loss due to outage = (Outage minutes * Affected - To program the PIC, it needs high voltages.
Customers * Average call cost) *10/100 Normally these voltages are supplied
- Average loss per a day due to power faults = Loss / through Serial port (COM port) of the
Number of days computer. But in some computers, especially
in Laptops, it is difficult to supply high
Percentage value for average loss on all faults with voltages through its Serial port. External
average loss on power faults. power sources have to be used to give these
= average loss on power faults/average loss high voltages, at these cases.
on all faults*100% - When a power fault occurs, the system that
was designed using PIC should not be out of
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION work. So the power can provide by a
rechargeable 9V battery, since PIC18F452
Results does not need high current to operate.


- The baud rates of computer and the PIC

18F452 must be same, to receive and
transmit bits correctly. This can be adjust by
saving necessary settings in Hyper Terminal
and by setting the relevant baud rates.
- It is necessary to select Code Protection
when the PIC18F452 is programmed. By
doing this no one will be able to copy the
code by reading it through a JDM


Further / Future Research opportunities the officers who are log on, when the voltage level is
For the best working conditions of an go down under specified level in any Exchange.
Exchange following margins should be satisfied as The PIC18F452 was connected to the
shown in Table 3. “Serial to Ethernet converter”. This converter was
responsible to send the data to a specified IP (internet
Table 3. Working conditions of an exchange protocol) address. The converter was programmed
with two IP addresses such as client address and Host
Recommended Range address. When the host address was added, the
Permitted Range converter connects with that computer at Head office
Voltage 44V to 48V 39V and continues to send the data. Hyper Terminal can
to 52V be used to view data on the computer at Head office
after setting the parameters. The Host address should
Temperature -150C to 250C -50C
be added correctly to connect with the converter. To
to 350C
set the Host address, it can do by adjusting the
Humidity 40RH% to 65RH% 20RH% to properties of the connection which can find under file
80RH% menu. .
The communication path will be connected
Voltage levels can be observed by the designed after setting the Host address. After connecting both
system and able to take necessary actions if the converter and computer, we can see every data on the
voltage value goes below recommended range. As screen of Hyper Terminal those are sent by the
future developments, PIC18F452 via “Serial to Ethernet” converter.
- This system can be developed to sense the
temperature of the Exchange, and give an Discussion and recommendations
alarm signal, if the temperature value goes - When designing the “Voltage drop indicator
beyond recommended 250C. The to overcome the power failure of the
temperature value should be kept between Exchange”, it is very cheap to design using
recommended ranges for the better life time PIC18F452 microcontroller. It can be
of the Exchange equipments. The develop within thousand rupees.
temperature control by Air Conditioners in - The “Voltage drop indicator” should be
an Exchange. checked for a period of time and should do a
- And also this system can be developed to research again to find how the purpose
sense the humidity of the exchange, and give system affected on power faults.
an alarm signal, if the humidity value - For the better stability, it can be developed
exceeds the limits of recommended range. using a PLD (programmable logic device).
The Humidity value should be within - There is a facility of accessing Ethernet
recommended range for the better parameters directly in the PIC18F452. But it
performance of the Exchange. was rather difficult to program, therefore
- Designed system can be modified to detect “Serial Communication” was used with the
voltage values of the NGNs (Next “Serial to Ethernet Converter”.
generation networks.). - Received data to the computer was read via
- It is very necessary to keep temperature the Hyper Terminal which comes as a
values, humidity values, in recommended communication tool in Windows. A java
range at the “Transmission Section”. This program can be written with more facilities
system can be developed to monitor these to do this job in a very user friendly
values in transmission section. environment.
- Using this system the loss due to the power
Interpretation of findings faults is minimized. The percentage value
The final outcome of my research was to for the loss due to power faults over all
make an island wide monitoring system, using faults can be recalculate using new data after
PIC18F452 IC by connecting to the database installing this system.
through network using Ethernet protocol.
The access to the database and monitoring
system was granted to authorize persons through
intranet using their username and passwords. After
log on he/she can view the battery voltage level of
any exchange and if any fault found he/she can take
actions to fix them. And also it was made to give an
alarm and a critical message on computer's screen to


“voltage drop indicator” was designed to
overcome the power faults in Exchanges under the
guidance of the University. My first supervisor Prof.
CAN Fernando and the course coordinator Dr.
KDDN Dissanayake were very helpful me in
designing this System. And also Mr. Smith
Wikramasingha at Peradeniya University was helped
me in designing the circuit.
PIC 18F452 microcontroller IC was used to
design the circuit. But there are some limitations such
as, this system was tested only for Ericsson switches
and not tested for the other various exchanges. And
also PIC 18F452 IC was not a very stable IC. It is
sensitive for electric sparks and magnetic fields.
To overcome these limitations, this circuit
could be checked with other various type of
exchanges such as Alcatel (1000E10 OCB 283,
E10B OCB 181), AT&T (5ESS), Fujitsu (FETEX),
NEC (NEAX 61E, Zigma), Nokia (DX), Ericsson
(AXE) and Motorola (EMX 2500). And also this
system can be designed with a programmable logic
device (PLD) instead of PIC 18F452 IC, to make a
better stable and reliable circuit.
As future developments this circuit can be
developed to detect temperature and humidity value
of the exchange. And also this circuit can be
developed to monitor voltage, temperature and
humidity values in transmission section.
Finally it could be concluded the circuit,
which has designed to detect voltage drops was very
helpful in applying my theoretical knowledge to a
real world practical problem.


- Dogan Ibrahim, (2008), Advanced PIC
Microcontroller Projects in C: From USB to
RTOS with the PIC 18F Series, Newnes,
London, p. 251 – 295.
- Christoffersen M. & Henten A., (1993),
Telecommunication, IOS Press, Netherlands.
- Robert B. Northrop, (2005), Introduction to
instrumentation and measurements, 02nd Edition,
CRC Press, London.


- Worms C.O., (2009), PIC microcontroller,
Viewed 12th December 2008.

- Biscuittin, (2008), Viewed 21st February 2009.